One of the first, and some (like me) would say still one of the best, smart watches you can buy is the original (now renamed "Classic" Pebble. It isn't fancy like the new Apple Watch. And it doesn't have a touch screen like the many Android Wear watches now on the market. But it works with both Android and Apple smart phones and has week-long battery life. You can also shower with it (although I don't understand why anyone would wear a watch in the shower). But at least that means you don't need to worry if you get caught in a rainstorm without your umbrella (your phone may not fare as well, however).

For those mobile lawyers who need a full Windows OS machine as their travel companion (probably fewer than you imagine given the increasing utility of Chromebooks, iPads, and Android tablets), an Ultrabook has been the standard choice. There are some great Ultrabooks on the market in addition to the computer on which the Ultrabook concept is based, the Macbook Air (which can be configured to run both Mac OS X and Windows). Now there is a new competitor that challenges the traditional choices on quality, style, and performance - but at a reduced price.

Affinity Partner Steve Best's new book on PCLaw and Affinity Newsletter Editor Scott Bassett's article on mobile apps for lawyers have been published by the American Bar Association.

If you have been looking for a portable computing device to take with you when you travel, or really anytime you are out of the office, you could do a lot worse than a Chromebook. Sure, it won't run Windows applications, but there are Chrome or Web apps to do 90% plus of what you can do on a Windows machine. And Chromebooks are the most secure and virus/malware-free portable device you can use (yes, more secure than a Mac). Currently, Best Buy has the aging but still very capable Acer C720 Chromebook on sale at an all-time low price of $129.

On of Microsoft's nicer freebies is Office Online. It is a browser-based version of Microsoft Office that is surprising full-featured and user-friendly. It is a legitimate rival to Google Docs.

Our Partners and Consultants have mentioned SpiderOak at CLE programs over the last several years because it is a privacy-focused Cloud storage company. With SpiderOak, you and you alone keep your encyption/unencryption key. That means no third party will have access to your data. Even if someone could get their hands on the raw bits that make up your firm and client files (very unlikely), they have no way to unencrypt and read the files.

There has been a lot of grumbling by Microsoft loyalists that a touch-enabled version of Office came first to iOS and Android devices. What about tablets and phones running Windows?

Here at Affinity, we like to think we are “Improving the lives of our Clients, One Efficiency at a Time”. But what is most interesting is that you, Our Clients, are improving our lives too. Each and every day, we are lucky enough to talk to some of the most respected attorneys in the country and the exceptionally capable and dedicated firm administrators and office managers that run those offices. Thank you for choosing Affinity and for challenging us day in and day out to find better ways to do the things you need to do to be successful. We really love what we do and we love that it helps you succeed.

To show our gratitude to you, Our Clients, in a fun and memorable way, we have named February Client Appreciation Month. Starting February 1st, there will be a ton of free training opportunities, “techie” giveaways, free webinars, products and services. Keep posted on our social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and in our newsletter for more details. In the meantime, thanks for being Our Client.

The Affinity Team

The Sony hack is the top tech news story of 2014, but will we learn anything from it? My bet is no.

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